Barlow, 2023 Draft hopeful, excited by Hlinka Gretzky Cup showcase

Colby Barlow had an interest in keeping an eye on the 2022 NHL Draft.

It’s because he will experience the process firsthand as one of the top forwards eligible for the 2023 NHL Draft.

Barlow (6 feet, 195 pounds) had 47 points (30 goals, 17 assists) in 59 games for the Ontario Hockey League’s Owen Sound last season. The right winger set an Owen Sound record for goals in a season by a 16-year-old, passing the 22 scored by Bobby Ryan (2003-04) and Daniel Sisca (1999-00), and he was named to the OHL. First Team All-Rookie.

“You definitely watch it, getting goosebumps every time someone gets drafted, thinking, ‘It could be you next year,'” Barlow said. “It’s definitely my life goal, to be drafted into the NHL. That’s why I play and put in all the work. You’re definitely watching, not as a fan, but as…that’s where I want to be next year.”

Barlow, who turned 17 on February 14, is well on his way to turning that hope into a reality.

“He’s a left winger who prefers to play away and last season he showed his offensive edge by setting a rookie goal record with Owen Sound,” said NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr. “He has good strength and skating movement to become an NHL forward. He is very good at protecting the puck, winning battles and getting to the net. He has the intelligence and tools to contribute offensively and is a strong contender in both.” senses. . Your overall game continues to develop in the right direction.”

He will next showcase those skills for Canada at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup 2022, an international under-18 tournament that will be held in Red Deer, Alberta from July 31 to August 6. The NHL Network will broadcast Canada’s preliminary round games in Group A against Switzerland on Sunday (21:00 ET), Slovakia on Tuesday (21:00 ET) and Sweden on Wednesday (21:00 ET). The NHL Network will also broadcast the United States’ three preliminary round games in Group B, against Germany on Sunday (5 pm ET), Finland on Monday (5 pm ET) and the Czech Republic on Wednesday (1 pm ET), in addition to from other games and the medal round, which starts on Friday.

It will be an opening statement during a season-long campaign to do his best for NHL scouts.

“Skating is something I want to keep improving, but overall my game needs to get better and better,” said Barlow, who says he models his game after the Toronto Maple Leafs forward. Auton Matthews and Florida Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk. “I can improve on [defensive] zone and make sure my shooting percentage improves. But skating is definitely a main focus for me.”

The Hlinka Gretzky Cup will provide Barlow with a first look at where he stands against many of the best prospects the 2023 draft has to offer.

A location and date for the 2023 draft will be announced at a later date.

“It’s a deep draft class,” he said. “There are so many good players. When you come to Hockey Canada camps and see them up front and in person, it’s crazy how good this draft class is. I think I can get the best players. work there and improve and keep going. to work for [becoming] a big prospect coming towards the end of the year, for the NHL Draft. I’m working towards it. Deep draft, lots of great players.

“It will be interesting to see how it goes and fits.”

Photos courtesy: John Carrick; Alison Kennedy Davies

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